Are Car Prices Going Down in Canada?

Car prices are shifting — again! And that affects the offers you’ll see (or make) on that second hand Honda Civic. It’s also going to impact Canadian charities.

Car prices: Revved up? Slamming on the brakes?

Have you noticed that your grocery cart, gas tank, and electric bill aren’t the only things spinning you for a loop these days? We’ve been front-and-center to the wild shifts in car prices over the past couple of years. In Donate a Car Canada’s decade-plus of caring for car donors we haven’t seen anything like it!

Our donors have weathered staggering dips in the market. Not so long ago, there were months and months where a scrap car wasn’t worth the rubber it was sitting on. That was a hard hit to auto owners across the country.

A fabulous time to be buying a new vehicle; a terrible time to be letting an older model go.

Then, along came capital “C” Crazy! This past year older vehicles were selling for mad cash!

An old Ford Focus that previous markets would have priced at a few hundred dollars? Sold! For a few thousand dollars! Old, new, and everything in between — your four-wheeled wonder was worth hearty money.

A fabulous time be selling any ol’ vehicle; a terrible time to by trying to get your hands one a new (or used) one!

Enter Summer/Autumn 2023

I had the happy luck of owning a newer model Toyota for a time. ‘Wonderful Corolla. Sturdy, spacious, reliable. I loved that car. And right around the onset of Springtime this year I got a little niggle, “You know, if you were to sell this beauty right now, you’d make back every dollar you paid for her, and probably a few thousand dollars profit!”

That niggle poked and prodded me for weeks. I had all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t sell. Good reasons! But, I told myself, demand isn’t shifting, and I have time to sit on this. ‘Really think it through. Be 100% sure I’m ready to let go of the car.

Finally, by summer’s end, I was ready to make the leap. I wandered into a dealership full of confidence. Dealerships and other re-sellers were hungry for inventory. I knew the market and I knew exactly what my car was worth. Just write me a cheque and send me on my way!

Yeah. Not so fast there, sister.

I’d taken my courageous leap about 2 weeks too late.

Two weeks. That’s how quickly things shifted. A few dealers and a hearty attempt at online sale later I resigned myself: the market had dipped back toward normalcy. I did make back every penny I originally paid (Unheard of, right?! When have work-a-day cars ever appreciated in value?), but waved a sad goodbye to my hoped-for profit.

What a dip in car prices means for you

You and your charity of choice may have been some of the lucky ones to ride the wave of bonkers-high car prices this past year. If so, we celebrate with you! What a crazy ride.

Charities across Canada saw unprecedentedly high donation outcomes in the last 12 months as a result. High car prices and strong demand meant folks buying second-hand vehicles were ready to pay BIG! That resulted in some deliciously strong donation outcomes for charities in every province.

As the market stabilizes a little, and prices settle back to something more recognizable, we will continue to see robust donations — but they will be more in line with familiar price spreads.

“In terms of Canadian pricing, all but one of the nine segments experienced a decrease; the most significant coming from sports cars (-0.61%), followed by near-luxury cars (-0.39%) and compact cars (-0.38%). The one segment that saw an increase was sub-compact cars (+0.24%).” (Canadian Auto Dealer)

Your car, your charity of choice

For some, it can be a little easier to part with a vehicle for donation if the value is modest. Some donors feel a twinge of disappointment that the car they’re donating this year isn’t worth quite as much as the one they donated last year. (ps: This is a real thing! Many, many Canadians donate multiple vehicles to the charities they love. We get our socks knocked off by the generosity of businesses and private donors alike every month.)

Whatever the market may be doing, we’ve got you covered. Your beloved…or loathsome…vehicle will make a marked difference for your chosen cause.

The process is simple, quick, and free. Free for you; free for your charity. Any charity in Canada can benefit, and you will always receive a tax receipt for your donation.

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About the Author

Sandra McDonald

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